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Technical Paper

Wissler Simulations of a Liquid Cooled and Ventilation Garment (LCVG) for Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

In order to provide effective cooling for astronauts during extravehicular activities (EVAs), a liquid cooling and ventilation garment (LCVG) is used to remove heat by a series of tubes through which cooling water is circulated. To better predict the effectiveness of the LCVG and determine possible modifications to improve performance, computer simulations dealing with the interaction of the cooling garment with the human body have been run using the Wissler Human Thermal Model. Simulations have been conducted to predict the heat removal rate for various liquid cooled garment configurations. The current LCVG uses 48 cooling tubes woven into a fabric with cooling water flowing through the tubes. The purpose of the current project is to decrease the overall weight of the LCVG system. In order to achieve this weight reduction, advances in the garment heat removal rates need to be obtained.
Technical Paper

Trace Gas Analyzer for Extra-Vehicular Activity

The Trace Gas Analyzer (TGA, Figure 1) is a self-contained, battery-powered mass spectrometer that is designed for use by astronauts during extravehicular activities (EVA) on the International Space Station (ISS). The TGA contains a miniature quadrupole mass spectrometer array (QMSA) that determines the partial pressures of ammonia, hydrazines, nitrogen, and oxygen. The QMSA ionizes the ambient gas mixture and analyzes the component species according to their charge-to-mass ratio. The QMSA and its electronics were designed, developed, and tested by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1,2). Oceaneering Space Systems supported JPL in QMSA detector development by performing 3D computer for optimal volumetric integration, and by performing stress and thermal analyses to parameterize environmental performance.
Technical Paper

Thermal Vacuum Testing of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Instrument

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) instrument is scheduled for launch onboard an Orbital Sciences Corporation LEOStar-2 architecture spacecraft in December 2008. The instrument will collect data to identify CO2 sources and sinks and quantify their seasonal variability. OCO observations will permit the collection of spatially resolved, high resolution spectroscopic observations of CO2 and O2 absorption in reflected sunlight over both continents and oceans. OCO has three bore-sighted, high resolution, grating spectrometers which share a common telescope with similar optics and electronics. A 0.765 μm channel will be used for O2 observations, while the weak and strong CO2 bands will be observed with 1.61 μm and 2.06 μm channels, respectively. The OCO spacecraft circular polar orbit will be sun-synchronous with an inclination of 98.2 degrees, mean altitude of 705 km and 98.9 minute orbit period.
Technical Paper

Thermal Performance of Space Suit Elements with Aerogel Insulation for Moon and Mars Exploration

Flexible fiber-reinforced aerogel composites were studied for use as insulation materials of a future space suit for Moon and Mars exploration. High flexibility and good thermal insulation properties of fiber-reinforced silica aerogel composites at both high and low vacuum conditions make it a promising insulation candidate for the space suit application. This paper first presents the results of a durability (mechanical cycling) study of these aerogels composites in the context of retaining their thermal performance. The study shows that some of these Aerogels materials retained most of their insulation performance after up to 250,000 cycles of mechanical flex cycling. This paper also examines the problem of integrating these flexible aerogel composites into the current space suit elements.
Technical Paper

Thermal Performance Evaluation of a Small Loop Heat Pipe for Space Applications

A Small Loop Heat Pipe (SLHP) featuring a wick of only 1.27 cm (0.5 inches) in diameter has been designed for use in spacecraft thermal control. It has several features to accommodate a wide range of environmental conditions in both operating and non-operating states. These include flexible transport lines to facilitate hardware integration, a radiator capable of sustaining over 100 freeze-thaw cycles using ammonia as a working fluid and a structural integrity to sustain acceleration loads up to 30 g. The small LHP has a maximum heat transport capacity of 120 Watts with thermal conductance ranging from 17 to 21 W/°C. The design incorporates heaters on the compensation chamber to modulate the heat transport from full-on to full-stop conditions. A set of start up heaters are attached to the evaporator body using a specially designed fin to assist the LHP in starting up when it is connected to a large thermal mass.
Technical Paper

Thermal Conductivity of Lofty Nonwovens in Space and Planetary Vacuum Environment

For planetary exploration, new thermal insulation materials are needed to deal with unique environmental conditions presented to extravehicular activity (EVA). The thermal insulation material and system used in the existing space suit were specifically designed for low orbit environment. They are not adequate for low vacuum condition commonly found in planetary environments with a gas atmosphere. This study attempts to identify the types of lofty nonwoven thermal insulation materials and the construction parameters that yield the best performance for such application. Lofty nonwovens with different construction parameters are evaluated for their thermal conductivity performance. Three different types of fiber material: solid round fiber, hollow fiber, and grooved fiber, with various denier, needling intensity, and web density were evaluated.
Technical Paper

Thermal Analysis of Lightweight Liquid Cooling Garments Using Highly Conductive Materials

This paper presents the analysis findings of a study reducing the overall mass of the lightweight liquid cooling garment (LCG). The LCG is a garment worn by crew to actively cool the body, for spacesuits and launch/entry suits. A mass reduction of 66% was desired for advanced missions. A thermal math model of the LCG was developed to predict its performance when various mass-reducing changes were implemented. Changes included varying the thermal conductivity and thickness of the garment or of the coolant tubes servicing the garment. A second model was developed to predict behavior of the suit when the cooling tubes were to be removed, and replaced with a highly-conducting (waterless) material. Findings are presented that show significant reductions in weight are theoretically possible by improving conductivity in the garment material.
Technical Paper

Self-Sterilizing Properties of Martian Soil: Possible Nature & Implications

As a result of the Viking missions in 1970s, the presence of a strong oxidant in Martian soil was suggested. Here we present a testable, by near-term missions, hypothesis that iron(VI) contributes to that oxidizing pool. Ferrate(VI) salts were studied for their spectral and oxidative properties and biological activities. Ferrate(VI) has distinctive spectroscopic features making it available for detection by remote sensing reflectance spectra and contact measurements via Mössbauer spectroscopy. The relevant miniaturized instrumentation has been developed or is underway, while XANES spectroscopy is shown to be a method of choice for the returned samples. Ferrate(VI) is capable of splitting water to yield oxygen, and oxidizing organic carbon to CO2. Organic oxidation was strongly abated after pre-heating ferrate, similar to the observations with Mars soil samples.
Technical Paper

Self-Deployable Foam Antenna Structures for Earth Observation Radiometer Applications

The overall goal of this program was the development of a 10 m. diameter, self-deployable antenna based on an open-celled rigid polyurethane foam system. Advantages of such a system relative to current inflatable or self-deploying systems include high volumetric efficiency of packing, high restoring force, low (or no) outgassing, low thermal conductivity, high dynamic damping, mechanical isotropy, infinite shelf life, and easy fabrication with methods amenable to construction of large structures (i.e., spraying). As part of a NASA Phase II SBIR, Adherent Technologies and its research partners, Temeku Technologies, and NASA JPL/Caltech, conducted activities in foam formulation, interdisciplinary analysis, and RF testing to assess the viability of using open cell polyurethane foams for self-deploying antenna applications.
Journal Article

Screening of Potential Biomass-Derived Streams as Fuel Blendstocks for Mixing Controlled Compression Ignition Combustion

Mixing controlled compression ignition, i.e., diesel engines are efficient and are likely to continue to be the primary means for movement of goods for many years. Low-net-carbon biofuels have the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of diesel combustion and could have advantageous properties for combustion, such as high cetane number and reduced engine-out particle and NOx emissions. We developed a list of over 400 potential biomass-derived diesel blendstocks and populated a database with the properties and characteristics of these materials. Fuel properties were determined by measurement, model prediction, or literature review. Screening criteria were developed to determine if a blendstock met the basic requirements for handling in the diesel distribution system and use as a blend with conventional diesel. Criteria included cetane number ≥40, flashpoint ≥52°C, and boiling point or T90 ≤338°C.
Technical Paper

Oxygenates for Advanced Petroleum-Based Diesel Fuels: Part 1. Screening and Selection Methodology for the Oxygenates

The overall program objectives were three fold: assess the benefits and limitations of oxygenated diesel fuels on engine performance and emissions identify oxygenates most suitable for potential use in future diesel formulations based on physico-chemical properties (e.g. flash point), toxicity, biodegradability and estimated cost of production perform limited emissions and performance testing of the oxygenated diesel blends select at least two oxygenated compounds for advanced engine testing In Part 1 of this program which is described in this paper, an extensive literature review was conducted to identify potential oxygenates for blending into diesel fuels. As many as 71 oxygenates were identified for the initial screening process. Based on a set of physical and chemical properties, a screening methodology was developed to select the 8 oxygenates that will be eligible for engine testing.
Technical Paper

Oxygen From Lunar Soils

We have conducted experiments on 16 lunar soils and 3 lunar volcanic glass samples to study the extraction of oxygen, an important resource for future lunar bases. The samples were chosen to span the range of composition and mineralogy represented in the Apollo collection. Each sample was reduced in flowing hydrogen for 3 hours at 1050°C. The dominant effect was reduction of Fe2+ (as FeO) in minerals and glass to iron metal, with concomitant release of oxygen. Oxygen extraction was strongly correlated with initial Fe2+ abundance but varied among mineral and glass phases. The experimental reduction of lunar soil and glass provides a method for assessing the oxygen production potential for sites on the lunar surface from lunar orbit. Our results show that oxygen yield from lunar soils can be predicted from knowledge of only one parameter, total iron content. This parameter can be measured from orbit by gamma ray spectrometry or multispectral imaging.
Technical Paper

On-Orbit Performance of the Major Constituent Analyzer

The Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) was activated on-orbit on 2/13/01 and provided essentially continuous readings of partial pressures for oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen and water in the ISS atmosphere. The MCA plays a crucial role in the operation of the Laboratory ECLSS and EVA operations from the airlock. This paper discusses the performance of the MCA as compared to specified accuracy requirements. The MCA has an on-board self-calibration capability and the frequency of this calibration could be relaxed with the level of instrument stability observed on-orbit. This paper also discusses anomalies the MCA experienced during the first year of on-orbit operation. Extensive Built In Test (BIT) and fault isolation capabilities proved to be invaluable in isolating the causes of anomalies. The process of fault isolation is discussed along with development of workaround solutions and implementation of permanent on-orbit corrections.
Technical Paper

Nanoscale Materials for Human Spaceflight Applications: Regenerable Carbon Dioxide Removal Using Single-wall Carbon Nanotubes

The challenges of missions to the Moon and Mars presents NASA with the need for more advanced life support systems, including better technologies for CO2 removal in spacecraft atmospheres and extravehicular mobility units (EMU). Amine-coated single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) have been proposed as a potential solution because of their high surface area and thermal conductivity. Initial research demonstrated the need for functionalization of SWCNT to obtain optimal adherence of the amine to the SWCNT support phase [1]. Recent efforts focus on the development of new methods to chemically bond amines to SWCNT. Synthesis and characterization methods for these materials are discussed and some preliminary materials characterization data are presented. The CO2 adsorption capacity for several versions of SWCNT supported amine-based CO2 scrubber materials is also determined.
Journal Article

Minimizing EVA Airlock Time and Depress Gas Losses

This paper describes the need and solution for minimizing EVA airlock time and depress gas losses using a new method that minimizes EVA out-the-door time for a suited astronaut and reclaims most of the airlock depress gas. This method consists of one or more related concepts that use an evacuated reservoir tank to store and reclaim the airlock depress gas. The evacuated tank can be an inflatable tank, a spent fuel tank from a lunar lander descent stage, or a backup airlock. During EVA airlock operations, the airlock and reservoir would be equalized at some low pressure, and through proper selection of reservoir size, most of the depress gas would be stored in the reservoir for later reclamation. The benefit of this method is directly applicable to long duration lunar and Mars missions that require multiple EVA missions (up to 100, two-person lunar EVAs) and conservation of consumables, including depress pump power and depress gas.
Technical Paper

Mechanical Properties and Durability Study of Aerogel-Base Thermal Insulation for Advanced Space Suit

Fiber-reinforced Aerogel composite insulations provide superior thermal insulation protection in both the low-earth orbit (LEO) and near-earth neighborhood planetary environments. The flexible nature and thermal properties of these materials make them the best insulation candidates for advanced space suit application. This paper reviews the properties of various Aerogel composite materials developed for NASA by Aspen Systems, Inc. Previous studies showed that the Aerogel materials retained acceptable thermal performance after some amount of mechanical cycling. The goal of the current work is to reach a complete understanding of the mechanical properties of these materials in the domain of space suit application. Hence, a good knowledge of the durability of the aerogel composites is needed. This paper presents the extensive testing program needed to determine the life of these insulations for advanced space suit application.
Technical Paper

Innovative Schematic Concept Analysis for a Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem

Conceptual designs for a space suit Personal Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) were developed and assessed to determine if upgrading the system using new, emerging, or projected technologies to fulfill basic functions would result in mass, volume, or performance improvements. Technologies were identified to satisfy each of the functions of the PLSS in three environments (zero-g, Lunar, and Martian) and in three time frames (2006, 2010, and 2020). The viability of candidate technologies was evaluated using evaluation criteria such as safety, technology readiness, and reliability. System concepts (schematics) were developed for combinations of time frame and environment by assigning specific technologies to each of four key functions of the PLSS -- oxygen supply, waste removal, thermal control, and power. The PLSS concepts were evaluated using the ExtraVehicular Activity System Sizing Analysis Tool, software created by NASA to analyze integrated system mass, volume, power and thermal loads.
Journal Article

Impact of a Diesel High Pressure Common Rail Fuel System and Onboard Vehicle Storage on B20 Biodiesel Blend Stability

Adoption of high-pressure common-rail (HPCR) fuel systems, which subject diesel fuels to higher temperatures and pressures, has brought into question the veracity of ASTM International specifications for biodiesel and biodiesel blend oxidation stability, as well as the lack of any stability parameter for diesel fuel. A controlled experiment was developed to investigate the impact of a light-duty diesel HPCR fuel system on the stability of 20% biodiesel (B20) blends under conditions of intermittent use and long-term storage in a relatively hot and dry climate. B20 samples with Rancimat induction periods (IPs) near the current 6.0-hour minimum specification (6.5 hr) and roughly double the ASTM specification (13.5 hr) were prepared from a conventional diesel and a highly unsaturated biodiesel. Four 2011 model year Volkswagen Passats equipped with HPCR fuel injection systems were utilized: one on B0, two on B20-6.5 hr, and one on B20-13.5 hr.
Technical Paper

Impact of Biodiesel Blends on Fuel System Component Durability

An ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel was blended with three different biodiesel samples at 5 and 20 volume percent. The biodiesel fuels were derived from rapeseed and soybean oils, and in addition, a highly oxidized biodiesel was prepared from the soy biodiesel by oxidation under controlled conditions. A set of five elastomers commonly used in automotive fuel systems were examined before and after immersion in the six test blends and base fuel at 60°C for 1000 hours. The elastomers were evaluated for hardness, tensile strength, volume change and compression. Injector wear tests were also conducted on the base petrodiesel fuel and the biodiesel blends using a 500-hour test method developed for this study. Bosch VE (in-line) rotary pumps were evaluated for wear after testing for 500 hours on the base fuel, B5 and B20 test fuels. Additionally, a test procedure was developed to accelerate wear on common rail pumps over 500 hours.
Technical Paper

ISRU Production of Life Support Consumables for a Lunar Base

Similar to finding a home on Earth, location is important when selecting where to set up an exploration outpost. Essential considerations for comparing potential lunar outpost locations include: (1) areas nearby that would be useful for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) oxygen extraction from regolith for crew breathing oxygen as well as other potential uses; (2) proximity to a suitable landing site; (3) availability of sunlight; (4) capability for line-of-sight communications with Earth; (5) proximity to permanently-shadowed areas for potential in-situ water ice; and (6) scientific interest. The Mons Malapert1 (Malapert Mountain) area (85.5°S, 0°E) has been compared to these criteria, and appears to be a suitable location for a lunar outpost.